Advice for families

A diagnosis of dementia for someone in the family does not just affect the individual, it affects the whole family unit. At first it may not be too difficult to cope with a person's occasional forgetfulness and confusion; however, as the dementia progresses there will be more challenging issues to face.

Family roles will change; things that the person with dementia used to do may now have to be done by other family members or more help offered to enable the person to continue to do tasks to the best of their ability. 

Spouses and partners may find it particularly difficult with regard to communicating messages and feelings; somebody you used to confide in may no longer understand what you mean and may not be able to offer the comfort and support they once used to. The ability to work things out logically and through a reasoning process will deteriorate and the individual will find it hard to make sense of the world around them.

 

                                  A Poem by Louis Hedges (Age 8)

MY GRANDMA!

 SHE COULD NOT REMEMBER HER NAME

BUT THAT IS NO REASON TO BLAME

 

SHE COULDN'T REMEMBER HOW TO WALK

NO QUESTIONS PLEASE FOR SHE COULD NOT TALK

 

SHE COULD ONLY STAY IN BED

AND HAD TO BE FED

 

SHE USED TO WHISPER TO HER RELFECTION

STRANGE THINGS I CANNOT MENTION

 

GRANDPA HAD TO TAKE CARE OF GRANDMA

POOR GRANDPA HE IS A STAR

 

SHE HAD THE DISEASE FOR 14 YEARS

SO LONG THAT IT MADE US IN TEARS

 

THIS DISEASE I WISH SHE'D NEVER HAD

THINKING OF IT MAKES ME SO SAD

 

IT'S NOT FAIR YOU CAN'T SEE US GROW UP

POOR GRANDMA WE MISS YOU SO MUCH

 

For advice on practical aspects of caring for someone with dementia please look at the factsheets in the Information for Carers section. 

Information for family and friends

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Explaining dementia to young people

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Benefits

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Carers' Support Programme

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Counselling and Family Support

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Going into hospital

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Respite Care

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Did you know?

Combined investment in dementia research is 7 times lower than spending on cancer research.